Diabetes Self-Management Blog

On August 10, pharmaceutical manufacturer Genentech announced the approval of its eye drug Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) by the US Food and Drug Administration for treatment of diabetic macular edema.

In diabetic macular edema, or DME, fluid leaks into an area in the middle of the retina known as the macula, which is responsible for providing crisp vision and fine detail. The macula swells and vision blurs.

Lucentis, which is also approved to treat wet age-related macular degeneration and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion, is administered via a monthly injection into the eye by a health-care professional.

The safety and effectiveness of Lucentis for treating DME was established through two clinical trials involving 759 people who were treated and followed for three years. The data showed that 34% to 45% of participants who received a monthly injection of 0.3 milligrams of Lucentis gained three lines of vision on an eye chart, compared to 12% to 18% of those who did not receive Lucentis injections.

According to Renata Albrecht, MD, from the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “All patients with diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic macular edema,” and the approval of Lucentis “represents a major development for the treatment of people whose vision is impaired by DME as a complication of their disease.”

Lucentis should not be taken by people who have an infection in or around the eye or who are allergic to any of the medicine’s ingredients. The most common side effects of Lucentis include redness in the whites of the eyes, eye pain, floaters (small spots in vision), the feeling of something being in the eye, headache, nose and throat infection, and respiratory infection. Rare but serious side effects include detached retina, cataracts, and serious eye infection.

Genentech spokesperson Terence Hurley has estimated the cost of treatment with Lucentis to be roughly $1,170 per month. The manufacturer offers programs to subsidize or eliminate the cost of the drug for people without insurance and those with insurance who meet certain criteria. For more information, visit the Web site for Genentech Access Solutions or call (866) 4ACCESS (422-2377).

To learn more about Lucentis, read the article “New Drug for Diabetes-Related Vision Loss approved,” or see the official press release or the Lucentis Web site.

POST A COMMENT       
  

Comments
  1. Great post thanks. I’ve been undergoing Lucentis injections for the past 18-24 months and it is indeed, it seems an effective drug. It’s appeared to be very helpful in retarding my disabling retinal blood vessel growth and hemorrhaging, as well as my macular edema. Granted it’s far more expensive than a similar cheaper compound Avastin which I’ve also had administered. There are people with autoimmune problems such as myself that may tolerate Lucentis better.
    Be Well!

    Posted by Jon Hart |

Post a Comment

Note: All comments are moderated and there may be a delay in the publication of your comment. Please be on-topic and appropriate. Do not disclose personal information. Be respectful of other posters. Only post information that is correct and true to your knowledge. When referencing information that is not based on personal experience, please provide links to your sources. All commenters are considered to be nonmedical professionals unless explicitly stated otherwise. Promotion of your own or someone else's business or competing site is not allowed: Sharing links to sites that are relevant to the topic at hand is permitted, but advertising is not. Once submitted, comments cannot be modified or deleted by their authors. Comments that don't follow the guidelines above may be deleted without warning. Such actions are at the sole discretion of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. Comments are moderated Monday through Friday by the editors of DiabetesSelfManagement.com. The moderators are employees of Madavor Media, LLC., and do not report any conflicts of interest. A privacy policy setting forth our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of certain information relating to you and your use of this Web site can be found here. For more information, please read our Terms and Conditions.


Insulin & Other Injected Drugs
Dispelling the Myths of Insulin Therapy (08/01/14)
Insulin for Type 2 (07/14/14)
FDA Approves Inhalable Insulin (07/03/14)
FDA Approves Weekly Type 2 Diabetes Medicine (04/18/14)

Eyes & Vision
Focus on This: May Is Healthy Vision Month (05/14/13)
Drug Improves Vision in Diabetic Retinopathy (11/30/12)
Diabetes and Your Eyes — More Than Retinopathy (05/24/13)

Diane Fennell
Pistachios Offer Protection for People With Diabetes (08/29/14)
New Approach for Neuropathy Pain? (08/18/14)
New Metformin Combo Drug Approved for Type 2 Diabetes (08/13/14)
FDA Approves New Oral Drug for Type 2 Diabetes (08/07/14)

 

 

Disclaimer of Medical Advice: You understand that the blog posts and comments to such blog posts (whether posted by us, our agents or bloggers, or by users) do not constitute medical advice or recommendation of any kind, and you should not rely on any information contained in such posts or comments to replace consultations with your qualified health care professionals to meet your individual needs. The opinions and other information contained in the blog posts and comments do not reflect the opinions or positions of the Site Proprietor.